Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cicero Beverage Co. Salted Caramel root beer

Background information: The bottle and website don't seem to have much information, with the website merely listing a couple awards for this drink as some other beverages they offer.  I'm intrigued by their "Candied Bacon Cream Soda" as well as their upcoming "Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Soda."

Product details: 12 fl. oz.  Distributed by: CBC Sales Inc., Chicago, IL 60607.  180 calories, 45g sugar. Glass bottle with twist off top.

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Sugar, Caramel Color, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Salt (Sodium Chloride), Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), and Citric Acid.

My thoughts: I'll admit, I'm a sucker for all things caramel.  So anything I say here might be influenced by the delicious taste of this gooey confection.  But don't worry, I didn't let it get the best of me.

The cap came off with a very strong "pop!", indicating that there would be plenty of carbonation in this drink.  As I poured the root beer into my mouth, I was prepared for something wondrous...but instead was left a little perplexed.  The "root beer" itself has a bit of a sour taste, a flavor I've encountered before and am decidedly not a fan of.  There isn't a lot of sassafras here and is overpowered by the caramel flavor.

Aftertaste brings out more of the caramel goodness, plenty sweet and tasty.  As I predicted, the carbonation is plenty powerful, perhaps a bit too much for some, but I like my root beer to have some bite to it.  Fortunately, despite the powerful effervescence, there is no hint of the dreaded "carbonated water" flavor.  Somehow, this incredibly strong carbonation is able to mix in a nice creamy sensation, perhaps buoyed by the caramel.  The drink is a bit sweet, but not more than I'd expect from a caramel beverage.

This could have been one of my favorite root beers, but for the lack of, well, root beer.  The rooty flavor is conspicuously weak and matters are made even worse by the subtle sourness I'm detecting.  Everything else about this is what I want from a beverage (perhaps a tad less sweet would be nice), but the final score reflects that this is supposed to be, first and foremost, root beer.

Rating: B-
flavor: C-
aftertaste: A-
sweetness: B-
smoothness: A
carbonation: A+

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